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breast tenderness breast tenderness

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Unread 01-14-2011, 07:20 AM
breast tenderness

My hysterectomy was 3 weeks ago. I am on the Vivelle dot .05. and I am having significant breast tenderness. I have fibrocystic breast so I am concerned about this pain. I'm 55 years old so my problems with breast tenderness had improved with my advancing age. I'm thinking I need to decrease my estrogen somewhat. I've cut a little off of my .05 patch but have not had any improvement yet.
I see my doctor next week and I'm thinking of asking about a dosage of .0375 with the addition of vaginal estrogen. Does anyone have any advice. I really don't like the way my breast feel.

Thanks so much.
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Unread 01-14-2011, 07:48 AM
Re: breast tenderness


I'm sorry that you're dealing with breast tenderness. I used to deal with that a lot myself, prior to my surgery. For me, breast tenderness is related to too much estrogen.

You definitely should discuss your concerns with your doctor. You may get relief by backing down on the dose you're using. If breast tenderness is your only symptom, it can also be helped by using bio-identical progesterone cream.

Early in recovery it's not unusual to have hormone symptoms as the body depletes the hormones produced by the ovaries and adapts to hormone therapy. How long it takes to deplete the hormones varies from woman to woman. Also, it takes time to reach optimal levels with any hormone therapy. A dose that feels like too much right now could end up being the right dose later, after the hormones produced by the ovaries are gone.

If you're really uncomfortable and concerned, don't hesitate to call your doctor to ask for guidance with this. Meanwhile, you might find it helpful to keep a symptom diary as you work to find hormone balance. Also, there is helpful information to read in this link: Hormone Jungle Articles.

Keep us posted on how you're doing, okay?

Unread 01-14-2011, 10:16 AM
Re: breast tenderness

Ask your dr about possibly adding progesterone. It will balance the estrogen well.
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Unread 01-14-2011, 09:01 PM
Re: breast tenderness

Hello: I too have had breast tenderness with the use of the Vivelle Dot patch. I had my TAH in March of 2009 and was put on the patch in April 2009 after a very scary episode of heart palpatations and racing pulse. After 4 days on the patch, I felt like a new woman. I was prescribed the 0.375 and it has been a perfect match for me.

My internist is wanting me off of the patch, but my gyno told me it would be ok to be on it for 2 years. The reason is that my mother is a breast cancer survivor and I too have had 3 breast biopseys...all benign. (Breast biopseys were before my hysterectomy.) My breast tenderness is not all the time, but there are times when the tenderness is worse. I seem to notice it more after putting on a fresh patch.

At the recommendation of my internist (my gyno told me it would be ok to cut them down when I was ready to start the weaning process.), I am decreasing my patch by cutting a little off every so many weeks...these have been tiny reductions. I cut so much off and duplicate the same for about a months worth. I am down to almost a half of a patch, and will wear it for a few more weeks. I have noticed that by reducing the patch, my breasts are not as tender...less discomfort. I will try removing the patch completely in March. Will see how I do and if there are problems, I'll be contacting my gyno again.

I would definitely talk to your doctor and try to reduce the patch dosage. You might find that the 0.375 will suit you just fine and reduce the symptoms you are having. Best of luck to you...we all wish this would be an easy transition, but some of us just aren't so lucky as others.
Unread 01-15-2011, 06:22 AM
Re: breast tenderness

Thanks Brenda for your reply. It is very helpful. I've had 2 biopsies in the past but have not had any problems in the past few years since I've gone through menopause. I think my painful breast could be a sign that I could be in for more problems in the future. I have already cut a small strip from my .05 patch two times and I plan on continuing until my breast are no longer sore. I just think I better take the decrease pretty slow so I won't have other symptoms.
Unread 01-15-2011, 08:56 PM
Re: breast tenderness

I agree with you if you are cutting down the patches. I was on the .0375 for a year and a half and started the weaning process. I have taken it very, very slow. My gyno told me that when I reach a half of a patch to go ahead and remove it all together...I'm not going to do that. I am going to wear that little half patch for a couple of months just to see how I do.

I think we all get kind of scared knowing that we won't have our pacifier any longer. (I jokingly call my patch my keeps me pacified.). I do feel better when I am on it, but am taking the advice of the doctors. I have a friend that was off of hers for a few months and could not stand the way she felt and hated that she was bitter and angry, so she went back on it. I try hard not to be argumentive but there are time when it it hard.

Hang in there and I hope you notice that the patch reduction helps you a little. Best wishes.

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